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the world's first social network financial institution where everything is transparent and open and people can see what happens with their money, as well as offering support

A new ‘social network’ financial institution launches today, offering an open, transparent way for entrepreneurs, businesses and investors to raise finance and invest in each other. The launch comes just weeks after the online CrowdFunding platform made it into the Top 50 of Sir Richard Branson’s global Virgin Unite Screw Business As Usual competition.

One of a number of growing CrowdFunding ventures, com is different from other financiers available to the public because it is the world’s first social media-driven financial institution, evaluating customers on their social media ‘capital’ on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Google+ and not just credit rating like traditional banks. All members of get to build their social capital score for the future, which measures additional factors such as reviews, social media activities and recommendations. is also making three types of financial offerings available - CrowdFunding, CrowdInvesting and CrowdLending (available 2013) but any money will only be invested in products and businesses that seek to bring out new value and potentially create jobs in the future. Unlike traditional banks charging interest on loans, people who join get to lend their savings direct to creditworthy borrowers to receive the interest on their savings as well as invest in shares and rewards in the businesses that they feel deserve it, plus they’ll see exactly what happens with their money.

Businesses already pitching for finance on include Life Lite Ltd, a patented invention to save children’s lives in the case of a fire; Strongroom - one of Shoreditch’s first bars and recording studios, inspiring more talented creative thinkers and The Personal Development Bureau - a business helping unemployed ex-armed forces, ex-police officers and ex-fire workers start their own businesses. CEO Simon Dixon said: “The goal was to build the world's first social network financial institution where everything is transparent and open and people can see what happens with their money, as well as offering support to the entrepreneurs and businesses that deserve it. is a working model that is changing the rules of money and banking to show that there is a viable way that can serve people, entrepreneurs, businesses and make the funds available to those who have missions to do good through their businesses. At the same time we wanted to break down the restrictive costs and bureaucracy that investors used to have to go through when they invested in private businesses. By signing up, ordinary people can now invest in the country’s future businesses, a game that was previously only available to rich people. We are offering a new way to invest small and large sums of money in a way where you can see exactly who it goes to, so we can all get on with creating businesses and investing in things that might actually create some jobs one day”.

Sir Richard Branson commented on the industry and launch of "With recent scandals tarnishing the banking sector once again, there's a real opportunity for positive change in the industry. I believe banks should be about more than just money. There's a bigger role to be played and that's why my own bank, Virgin Money, has the ambition and aim to make everyone better off - customers, staff, shareholders and communities. We have a great team under the leadership of Jayne-Anne Gadhia – who I know will shake up the industry and challenge the big five that have dominated the high street for too long. We bought Northern Rock in January this year and we have been very impressed by the reception we already have. Look out for more Virgin Money branded accounts and mortgages over the next year. I like the goals of, where everything is transparent and open and people can see what happens with their money. It is great that they are offering support to entrepreneurs and businesses who will create jobs in the future”.




After many years in the banking industry, Simon Dixon threw in a high paying job as an investment banker seven years ago to work with students seeking careers in investment banking. He wanted to create a next generation of more ethical bankers. At the same time, he started presenting at over 200 universities around the UK on the problems with banking. At first he was ridiculed by economics professors/LSE who thought there was no problem with the banking system but when the financial crisis hit...he went from ridicule to being asked to write the book Bank To The Future; Protect Your Future Before Government Go Bust and present weekly on the news providing commentary on the future of banking. Simon started supporting the not-for-profit Positive Money to draft a submission for the independent commission on banking and was invited to present to MP’s, bankers and politicians on how to make banks sustainable.

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